Author’s comment: After living in a foreign country for a long time, one tends to pick up habits that coincide with the standard way of life of the country you are living in. And while the habits are easy to acquire, they are even difficult to get rid of. And as you can see in the guest column, written by the California Globetrotter who has been living in Germany for a long time, these habits can serve as a blessing than a curse. Have a look at the 100 habits that are typically German, from her point of view:
After recently spending 7 weeks in the US, trying to decide if we wanted to move back, I realized how much I have changed in my 6 years living in Germany. Life in Germany is so comfortable, easy and relaxed. There is Ordnung to everything that we do here and over time, the rigid rules Germans live by eventually become daily habits, you hardly notice that they no longer bother you, but more that without them you don’t know what to do with yourself. When you leave the country for an extended amount of time you suddenly find yourself aching to get back as quickly as possible.
Here I list 100 ways you may have changed after living in Germany for so long, picking up some of the German habits so much that perhaps now you actually pass as a German! These days you probably feel more German than you do American or any other nationality you might be. You eat, sleep and breath German that should you return home, you might go through a bit of a reverse culture shock. You honestly don’t realize how much life as an expat in Germany changes you until you return home and struggle with the cultural differences. You might even say you go through a little bit of an identity crisis as you try to fit into both cultures.
This post previously had another titled and about half the signs, but it dawned on me just how much I had been Germafied, I decided to entirely rewrite it.
Think You’ve Become Germanized? PIN IT FOR LATER!!
1) You obsessively recycle plastic, paper, glass and compost and are aware of how important it is to be environmentally friendly, that when you go places you are angry that the rest of the world doesn’t have as good of a recycling network.
2) Your year hasn’t been complete until you have gone to several German Christmas Markets.
3) You no longer say, “You work at Starbucks, don’t you?” but instead ask “You work at Starbucks, or?” (Du arbeitest bei Starbucks, oder?”)
4) Your driving skills are impeccable and you now have road rage when someone doesn’t obey the road rules.
5) You hate driving anywhere else outside of Germany for lack of efficient road rules and sections with unlimited speed limits.
6) You always carry an extra shopping bag in your purse/backpack at all times so as to save a plastic bag and not pay .20cents for a new bag each time you go shopping.
7) You stand at the ready with your wallet, cash/cards out and can effectively pack your groceries in your backpack/bag perfectly in under 2 minutes without holding up the line.
8) You no longer cringe at un-refrigerated milk and eggs.
9) You yell at people for riding their bikes in the wrong direction or on the sidewalk! “GEISTERRADLER!!“
10) You can no loner tolerate people playing loud music or talking loudly on public transportation.
11) You no longer cross the street at a red light or J-walk for fear that you will loose your driver’s license, even if there is no car in sight.
12) Your weekend is not complete without a proper continental breakfast.
13) You now enjoy a shot of espresso after any meal.
14) You enjoy family get-togethers revolving around coffee and cake in the afternoon.
15) After a big, heavy meal, you now enjoy a Willie!
16) Your alcohol tolerance has increased and you can now drink like a German!
17) You religiously believe that German beer is far superior to all others and take the Reinheitsgebot “German Beer Purity Law” seriously.
18) You’re a bratwurst snob! Currywurst. Bockwurst. Weißwurst usw.
19) You can make a damn good schnitzel / cordon bleu.
20) You enjoy seasonal meals in Germany such as Spargel mit Kartoffeln, Zwiebelkuchen mit Federweißer or Kürbissuppe.
21) You no longer startle Germans by greeting them with “Hello, how are you?” but instead say “Guten Morgen” or “Servus”.
22) You say hello to complete strangers whenever you walk into a room, an elevator or even walking up/down the stairs.
23) You have more types of insurance than you know what to do with them.
24) You actually pledge allegiance to a football team in Germany or support the German team during the World Cup / Euro Cup.
25) You shower at lightning speed and turning off water while you lather yourself in soap before rinsing off.
26) You grumble when a shower doesn’t have a removable shower head.
27) You’re always punktlich no matter where you go.
28) Shopping on a Sunday suddenly feel so very, very wrong and you treasure the few Sundays a year where shops are actually open.
29) You walk faster for no apparent reason whatsoever.
30) You automatically take your shoes off whenever entering someone’s house and willingly use a pair of Hausschuhe.
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